Galway Theatre Festival launches 11th Festival

A huge crowd turned out for the launch of the Galway Theatre Festival May 3rd-11th.

The launch took place at Biteclub Streetfood Discotheque on Monday evening.

There is a wide variety of theatre available on offer for all to enjoy. Some of the talent performing will be the Macnas drumming troupe which take to the streets of Galway on May 8th at 7pm.

Festival Director Sorcha Keane says “the ethos is to support independent and emerging artists here in the West of Ireland and nationally. The importance of the festival is that it platforms local talent and in the West.”

“It means that people can live and work locally. This festival aims to support artists by giving them a platform. We try to be inclusive and accessible both to artists and audiences at all levels of their careers.”

Writer/Director and first time entrant Oisín Robbins will have his first show ‘Marty Moncrieff, The Teddy Bear Thief.’ About this Oisín says “this is a toy story meets Fr. Ted in the West of Ireland, there’s puppetry and fun changes of character. We’re hoping that the video and audio will work well, I’m confident.

“I’ve set up Beluga Theatre Company; we make shows for young audiences, we’re a Galway/Offaly company. We’ve a huge team on board behind the scenes, making the puppets and the actors and musicians are great. There’s a great community here in Galway involved with the show.”

Also in this years festival there will be the show based on the late Una Taaffe directed by Elaine Mears. This will be looking at the life and times of Una Taffe and her shop in where she lived upstairs with her dogs. The show is called ‘Are you there Una?’ The show will be running at the Mick Lally Theatre.

“I’ve being working on this piece for a few years now. I was lucky enough to get Arts Council funding, and funding from the Galway City Council, Galway County Council and lots more.

“I’ve spent two years collecting interviews and stories along with other memorabilia from Una Taaffe’s life. I’ve also met with her family members and those that knew her well. It’s real old Galway community stuff.

“When you mention Una’s name people’s eyes light up and some have wondering what happened to her. This also explores universal themes such as isolation, homelessness and growing old as a woman, being an outcast.”

Orla McGovern director in attendance at the launch talks about the festival and the significance of it to the Arts. Orla says “it’s a great festival; the whole theatre company seems to be out tonight to show their support and everyone’s buzzing with the excitement. We can’t wait.

“It’s a really diverse bunch of stuff, it used to be in October but this was a tricky time for people. The change to May is great you can see that everyone is looking so forward, there’s something about May that has energy to it.

“This festival celebrates new work and other works in progress; it’s the combination that makes it so exciting. My piece is called Connection +/- based around old phone boxes. I was sitting in a pub one night when I thought this could be a great idea and took it from there.”

Jane Daly of the Irish Theatre Institute says “sustainability is extremely difficult to achieve, we need more funding and long-term supports. We’ve got to hold on to the talent here in the West. We also need to give the local artists platforms on which to showcase their talents and to offer artists the opportunity to present their work to the public.”

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